So you're thinking of swimming a river from source to mouth? Break out the maps, collect your gear and get ready for an adventure like no other. Waterways lead to pockets of quietude that would be otherwise unreachable. They bundle you down valleys, through gorges and into the depths of entangled forests. You'll meet funky little flitters of wildlife along the way, beautiful wild flower gardens and no doubt wind-up whistling the bear necessities tune to yourself.
So you're looking to take the leap from ploughing through warm, chlorinated water to diving headlong into cold open rivers, seas and lakes? Well, first thing you need to do is take a breath and settle any fears you might have. Then read through these first three easy steps - we hope they'll ease your anxieties and help you into your first wild swimming experience.Don't worry: the riverbed isn't going to be crowded with beasties and the cold won't turn you into an ice-block - in fact, you'll probably learn to love it.